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The place where the world comes together in honesty and mirth.
Windmills Tilted, Scared Cows Butchered, Lies Skewered on the Lance of Reality ... or something to that effect.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Daily Drift

It also happens to be Gummi Bear Day ...!
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Today in History

1099 Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders.
1410 Poles and Lithuanians defeat the Teutonic knights at Tannenburg, Prussia.
1685 The Duke of Monmouth is executed in Tower Hill in England.
1789 The electors of Paris set up a "Commune" to live without the authority of the government.
1806 Lieutenant Zebulon Pike begins his western expedition from Fort Belle Fountaine.
1813 Napoleon Bonaparte’s representatives meet with the Allies in Prague to discuss peace terms.
1834 Lord Napier of England arrives at Macao, China, as the first chief superintendent of trade.
1863 Confederate raider Bill Anderson and his Bushwackers attack Huntsville, Missouri, stealing $45,000 from the local bank.
1895 Ex-prime minister of Bulgaria, Stephen Stambulov, is murdered by Macedonian rebels.
1901 Over 74,000 Pittsburgh steel workers go on strike.
1938 Howard Huges and crew set a new world record for an around-the-world flight.
1942 The first supply flight from India to China over the ‘Hump’ is flown.
1958 President Dwight Eisenhower sends 5,000 Marines to Lebanon to keep the peace.
1960 John F. Kennedy accepts the Democratic nomination for president.

Worth It

The Death of the Hippies

In the late 1960s, counterculture youth known as hippies swelled the population of San Francisco and surrounding areas. They were rebelling against the middle-class life and sensibilities of their parents and looking for a new way to live. In 1969, photographer Joe Samburg moved there to join his brother Frank in Berkeley.
When they pulled into Berkeley, the hippies were everywhere—standing on every corner, lining every avenue. Joe had never seen anything like it. “People don’t really understand this now, but at that time, in most of the country, you couldn’t have long hair and not be in danger of being beaten up,” Joe explains. “In Boston, cars used to come screeching to a halt and guys would jump out and want to kill me. I’d have to run.” Even in New York, whenever he left Greenwich Village, “I was continually harassed, spit on, and shoved around.” And Joe wasn’t even really a hippie. “I was hip,” he says. “That meant boots, black jeans, a black t-shirt, a leather jacket—the kind of thing you’d maybe see the Rolling Stones wearing.”
In California, the flower-child style was at its apex. “People had really developed their individual looks,” he says. “They were no longer trying to figure out what being a hippie meant. I found that really stimulating. It made a great subject for a photographer—even though, by any middle-class standards, these people were living totally miserable lives.”
They banded together for acceptance and unity, but when a population reaches a critical mass, it will share problems as well as benefits. And the biggest problem the hippies shared was drugs. Read an account of those days from photographer Joe Samberg (who is, incidentally, comedian Andy Samberg’s father) and see his photographs of the era, at the Atlantic.

Nazi Telegram That Drove Hitler to Suicide Sat For Years in South Carolina Safe

According to the Washington Post, a telegram that changed the course of World War II and prompted Adolf Hitler to commit suicide was recently sold at auction. The document sat in a safe in South Carolina for years, allegedly due to the original owner's inability to read German and failure to consult with a historian or obtain a translation that might have emphasized its historical importance. The telegram, written to Adolf Hitler by Nazi second-in-command Hermann Goering, sold at auction for $55,000.
Read the history of the document changing hands, learn how the issue of true ownership is clouded, and see the translated text of the telegram here. 

Police investigate motorist who drove for miles in reverse

A driver has been caught on camera veering through one of Los Angeles' busiest roads for miles in reverse, and the Police Department says it’s investigating. The driver started on Mulholland Drive, then drove backward for more than 2 miles along Laurel Canyon Boulevard toward Sunset Boulevard. The LAPD is calling the incident some of the most reckless driving investigators have ever seen.
Cellphone video captured the vehicle, described as an Audi, going backward. The vehicle stayed in reverse for several minutes and along windy turns. At one point, the car appears to almost hit a pedestrian. Several times, the Audi crosses the double-yellow lines, narrowly missing oncoming traffic. When the vehicle approaches busy Hollywood Boulevard, still in reverse, the driver manoeuvres around other cars and into the left turn lane.
“It definitely was a shocker for me,” said Kevin Zanazanian, who recorded the video on his cellphone. He says he first noticed the Audi at around 4:45 p.m. on Thursday afternoon near Mulholland. He says there were two people in the car, a man behind the wheel, and a woman in the passenger seat. “It was definitely like a movie and I just think either this individual had an argument or a fight or something or just possibly just wanted to be a cool guy,”Zanazanian said.

LAPD investigators say the driver could be arrested on numerous charges. “Reckless driving, unsafe speed, crossing double-yellow lines, failure to drive on the right half of the roadway,” LAPD Sgt. Tito Mariano said. Given the numerous close calls, police say it’s incredible no one was hurt. “Imagine if it was you or your family member driving and being struck by someone doing something irresponsible,” the sergeant said. Since the car had dealer plates, police plan to contact the dealership to track down the driver.

Gun nuts cry bitter tears on Twitter over Whataburger’s ban on openly carried guns inside restaurants

Angry customer responds to Whataburger ban on open carry (Twitter)Burger-craving gun lovers are outraged over Whataburger’s policy against openly carrying firearms inside the fast food chain’s Texas restaurants.

Burger chain rebuked over Greedy Bastard billboard

A complaint against a billboard advertisement for Burger Fuel's 'Greedy Bastard' burger has been upheld in part by the Advertising Standards Authority in New Zealand. A complaint was made to the advertising watchdog in regards to the billboard, which named the burger in large type on a main city street. The burger, named the 'Greedy Bastard' gets its name from its double portions of both meat and cheese.
"I'm sure this humor appeals to the young adults it is trying to lure into its restaurant, but to force the name upon people in large type in public is not acceptable," the complainant told the authority. In its written decision the Complaints Board said while it did not have the jurisdiction to require a company to change the name of its product or brand, there could be circumstances when the name of a product created an issue when used in advertising.
The board said the word 'Greedy Bastard' had been used by the advertiser in a 'light-hearted manner' to describe the double portions of cheese and beef used in the burger, rather than in an aggressive tone and was unlikely to cause serious offense. However, the word was problematic when it appeared on a billboard, the board said. It said the billboard's location meant the advertisement was highly visible to the general public - including children, and such indiscriminate exposure to the word 'Bastard' was not socially responsible. The board upheld the complaint in part with regard to the use of the advertisement on a billboard.
Burger Fuel's marketing manager Alexis Lam said the 'Greedy Bastard' was a limited edition version of the 'Bastard' burger, which has been on the menu since 1995. "Due to this item being on the menu for a short period of time, by the time the complaint decision had been made, the billboard had been taken down so no further action was required by us. "We feel that since Sir Edmond Hillary 'knocked the bastard off', that this phrase has become a normal term in New Zealand society, and that the lack of complaints we've had over the twenty years that this burger has been on our menu is a testament to this. We have a lot of respect for the Advertising Standards Authority and their decision making process and may look to explore this particular decision further with them."

Lawyer questions wisdom of Probation Service after they housed alcoholic man above a pub

A man with an alcohol and heroin problem was sent to live above a pub by the Probation Service. David Philip Earnshaw fell off the wagon during his placement. He has now been jailed for a year after again hitting the booze and returning to drug dealing. Mold Crown Court heard that on his release from prison last summer there had been plans to put him in a hostel, but he ended up being placed above the Red Lion in Dyserth, Denbighshire, Wales. His defense barrister Andrew Green told the court that Earnshaw, 41, took up drinking again because “every day he could see it, he could smell it”.
His return to the drink disrupted his methadone treatment for heroin addiction, and he decided to seek out drugs for himself. Mr Green said: “For a man who has addiction problems, including alcohol addiction, you would have thought that to house him above the public house was probably not the most appropriate place to put him.” He was arrested in Flint, where he was found to have drugs stashed inside Kinder eggs.
He admitted possessing heroin, cannabis with intent to supply and more than 100 tablets which turned out to be a class C drug, also with intent to supply, in August last year. Earnshaw was released from a sentence for robbery last year, and was housed in Bangor. After a 28 day recall to prison, he was then put above the pub and told to “grin and bear it”. Mr Green added: “He is not seeking to abdicate his responsibility or seeking to blame anyone else for what he has done.” He said Earnshaw, now of no fixed abode, entirely accepted responsibility for his actions.

The 10 Most Expensive Whiskeys in the World

This is no rotgut! Four carefully selected stocks from Dalmore's reserves ranging from 1868 through 1939 were combined to form a select blend of some of the finest Scotch whiskey in the world. And it had better be at $164,100 per bottle!
That's a lot, but it's not even close to the most expensive whiskey in the world. You can find more delicious-looking and extremely costly whiskeys at First We Feast.

The Oldest Known Song Dates Back 3,400 Years

In 1988, Robert Fink published an article in Archaeologica Musica describing how a scholar was able to translate tablets from the ancient Levantine city of Ugarit. These tablets, which date back to about 1,400 B.C., contain a form of musical notation:
For fifteen years Prof. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer puzzled over clay tablets relating to music including some excavated in Syria by French archaeologists in the early '50s. The tablets from the Syrian city of ancient Ugarit (modern Ras Shamra) were about 3400 years old, had markings called cuneiform signs in the hurrian language (with borrowed akkadian terms) that provided a form of musical notation. One of the texts formed a complete cult hymn and is the oldest preserved song with notation in the world. Finally in 1972, Kilmer, who is professor of Assyriology, University of California, and a curator at the Lowie Museum of Anthropology at Berkeley, developed an interpretation of the song based on her study of the notation (fig. 1).
Michael Levy, an expert on the lyre, performed the composition. It sounds like this:

Songs That Heal

Preserving A Thousand-Year-Old Tradition
Only six people in the world know how to do what Sergio Pacheco is about to do. Pacheco stands in the middle of a crowd on the National Mall, wearing a feathered headdress, beaded necklace and wrinkled dress that's been hand painted with a large, maroon bird on the front.
Pacheco is a traditional doctor among the Wachiperi (or Huachipaire), a thousand-year-old ethnic group living in the Madre de Dios Region near the Brazilian border in the Peruvian Amazon

Welsh government responded to UFO airport query in Klingon

Klingon was the chosen language for the Welsh government in its response to queries about UFO sightings at Cardiff Airport.
While English and Welsh are the usual forms of communications in the Senedd, it opted for the native tongue of the enemies of Star Trek's Captain Kirk.
Shadow Health Minister and AM for Clwyd West Darren Millar, had asked for details of UFOs sightings and asked if research would be funded. A Welsh government spokesman responded with: "jang vIDa je due luq."
The Welsh government statement continued: "'ach ghotvam'e' QI'yaH devolve qaS." In full it said it translated as: "The minister will reply in due course. However this is a non-devolved matter." It is believed to be the first time the Welsh government has chosen to communicate in Klingon.

Link Dump

Students at M.I.T. figured out how to game the Massachusetts lottery.  "The math whizzes quickly discovered that buying about $100,000 in Cash WinFall tickets on those days would virtually guarantee success. Buying $600,000 worth of tickets would bring a 15%–20% return on investment... By 2005, the group had earned almost $8 million with its system..."
The reason your eyes get irritated at public swimming pools is not the chlorine per se. "It’s chlorine mixed with poop and sweat and a lot of other things we bring into the water with us.”
A gif illustrating the timeline of full marriage equality in the United States.
A reminder of your rights when detained by a policeman.
A remarkable disc golf hole-in-one.
Was President Zachary Taylor murdered?
A subterranean urban farm in London grows vegetables hydroponically to supply London restaurants with fresh veggies.  No sunlight required.  Travel distances from farm to user negligible.
If you like to fish, or just enjoy a quiet evening on the lake, and are sick and tired of assholes who speed around in power boats, you can get enormous amounts of schadenfreude by viewing this video.  Here it is remixed with a loop set to music.
A five-minute video illustrates how we are living in "exponential times."
"Attackers on a motorbike threw acid in the faces of three teenage girls on their way to school in Afghanistan's western Herat province... The girls, age 16 to 18, are students at one of the biggest girls' schools in Herat city... "This is the punishment for going to school," the men told the girls after pouring the acid on them."
Hackers were able to give orders to a German missile battery. "The attack took place on anti-aircraft ‘Patriot’ missiles on the Syrian border. The American-made weapons had been stationed there by the Bundeswehr (German army) to protect Nato ally Turkey. According to the civil service magazine, the missile system carried out “unexplained” orders. It was not immediately clear when these orders were carried out and what they were."
Rural Costa Ricans paint their satellite dishes to turn them into billboards.
When Sweden plays Denmark in sports, the scorecard reads SWE-DEN.  The unused letters from their names spell...

Sydney Volcanoes


Antarctic Geothermal

'Surprisingly high' geothermal heat source ground below west Antarctica

The Lucky Iron Fish

A Simple Solution To A Serious Problem
In Cambodia, much of the population lives on a diet of fish and rice and so suffers from iron deficiency, leading to anemia and other serious health conditions.
The simple solution is to cook a small piece of iron in the same pot with a meal for 10 minutes, providing 75% of the iron a family needs. The dilemma was that people were happy to use the iron slab as a doorstop but wouldn't toss it into the cooking pot. That changed when the small piece of iron was changed into the shape of a fish, a cultural symbol of hope and good fortune in Cambodia.

Fishermen surprised to catch foot-long shrimp

Shrimpers on the St. Johns River near Jacksonville, Florida had a rare catch on Thursday, pulling in a foot-long Asian tiger shrimp. Representatives for the Trout River Fish Company say they've never seen one this big before.
The Asian tiger shrimp is an invasive species to the St. Johns that eats meat and is impacting the ecosystem on the First Coast. That has shrimpers worried.
"We've been in this business for 57 years," said Kaleigh Rhodes with the Trout River Fish Company. "We do catch them, but to see one that is 12 inches long is rare," said Rhodes.

"They are aggressive, they are meat eaters and they would love to eat on our shrimp," said Robin Emmett. "Even if they are even half as big as this one, that's a huge shrimp." Emmett says the invasive shrimp are a threat to local shrimpers' supply, but recognizes that a catch this big will probably only happen once in a lifetime.

Orphaned bear cub rescued from river on raft

After being plucked from the Nolichucky River near Erwin on Thursday, Noli Bear is on the road to recovery at the Appalachian Bear Rescue in Townsend, Tennessee. The five-month-old, 14-pound American black bear was rescued by rafting guides who had seen the cub struggling by the side of the river for several days. Matt Moses, who owns the USA Raft Company, said the bear was finally rescued and brought to his property by guide Danny Allen of High Mountain Expeditions. “We had seen this bear over the last four days, and there was no sight of a mama bear,” said Moses. “She was obviously malnourished and appeared to be in distress. My guides kept coming back to me and saying they had no idea what to do. We didn’t want to see this bear die on the side of the river.”
Moses said the bear, who was named after the river it was rescued from, became more comfortable with human contact each day. “It would walk toward us at first. Then it swam out toward one of our rafts. Thursday, a guy from another rafting company (Allen) pulled over and she got right in.” Moses said he has never seen a bear react that way. “We see bear fairly often, but we’ve never seen anything like this,” he said. “This is the first time I’ve ever heard of a bear getting in a raft.” The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was called and the bear was transported to the ABR, a black bear rehabilitation facility that has returned orphaned, injured or medically in-need bears to the wild since 1996. According to Dana Dodd, board president of the ABR, Noli Bear is on the mend. “She’s up, walking and feeding,” said Dodd.

“She likes grapes and apple sauce. Those things are great for her because they’re filled with water.” Dodd said ABR took the bear to the University of Tennessee Veterinary School after it was dropped off by TWRA. “She was very dehydrated, and the doctors gave her fluids,” said Dodd. “She will have to stay in the acclimatization area until we can’t see any more of her neurological conditions, like dehydration and possibly heat stroke.” Dodd said the next step is to get Noli Bear healthy enough to be put in an area that houses four other cubs at the facility. “It may be a week or so,” said Dodd. “We have to be sure she is hearing, seeing and climbing well.” Noli Bear will have to grow to about 50 pounds before she can be released into the wild, sometime between August and the end of the year, according to Dodd. She said TWRA will decide where the bears will be released, but it is usually in proximity to where they were found.
“They do that because most of the bears try and make it back to where they came from,” said Dodd. She said information is sketchy on how cubs do on their own after reintroduction. Cubs typically stay with their mother until they are 16 months. “Studies have shown that at six months, especially in warmer climates like the southeast, and if food like acorns are plentiful, these cubs would be viable.” Dodd said that even cubs with their mothers for the full first 16 months face a difficult road. “Fifty percent of all cubs do not make it to their first birthday, and 25 percent of those that survive don’t make it to their second birthday,” she said. While Noli Bear’s rescuers no doubt had the best of intentions, Dodd said you should never approach an animal in the wild. “If you see wildlife in trouble, you should immediately call TWRA. You should never intervene on your own. It’s dangerous for you and the animal.”
There are two videos here.

Animal Pictures